The White Sea of Nothingness

White, blank and intimidating. One of the most tortuous experiences I have, and very regularly too, is having to stare into the face of some form of nothingness and make something out of it.

You see, painful as it is, it is my job to do this. No, it is beyond a job, it is my calling, it is my purpose…

It is what I was created to do

But flawed as I am, it can be difficult a lot of the time. The whiteness which is meant to be my conquest looks me in the face and mocks me. No matter how many times I have faced and vanquished it in the past, hydra-headed monster that it is, it rises again and taunts me, scoffs at me, knowing full well it will eventually fall, but revelling nonetheless in its power to unnerve me while it can.

I will vanquish it again. Several times over, as I have before. But too many times before, it has been with my back against a wall, or overhanging a cliff. Never in retreat but usually in defense. I should be on the attack more often. I should be on the attack all the time.

Perhaps, what makes it more difficult is how my tormentor comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. In many textures. In many tones and shades. Such that when I have mastered one or the other of its forms and am well practiced in the ways of vanquishing the inherent nothingness, but inadvertently letting the skills needed in vanquishing another form lie fallow in the process, I am taken aback when faced with the form I have not practiced at in a while.

The nothingness, not always white takes many forms…

Drawing Paper. The canvas. The stage. Photopaper. Cloth. The Monitor. Clay. The notebook. Leather. The blank wall. My body.

But I find some solace in the knowing that as diverse as the forms of this nothingness are, so are the tools and weapons I have been equipped to battle it with:

The Pencil My first love, still the one I first rely on when preparing my campaign…

The Pen The one for the decisive and final strokes. Permanent and never to be erased…

The Brush Still the weapon in my arsenal the handling of which is most awkard. Has got me out of a few scrapes though…

The Spatula
A tool I have entirely laid down. Once weilded it with great prowess. Alas, gone are those days. Or are they?…

The Scissors, Needle and Thread Weapons some assume, wrongly, are only for the feminine folk. If they only knew…

My Body Weapon of Mass Destruction. Lit up the stage, the screen, the dance floor. The monster sleeps… for now…

My Voice The tool with which I amplify the power of my pen. Works wonders, believe…

The Mouse and Keyboard/Keypad The ones that supply the daily bread. The ones I groom the most for the battles ahead…

The Camera With which I freeze and capture moments in time. The beautiful, beautiful moments…

But the sea fights back. That feeling of exasperation one may get when one stares at that great white sea and balks has been given many names, the most popular of which would be The Block amongst writers, Seeking Inspiration in art and music circles or generally… Laziness. Laziness is most often the real issue but don’t we all like a little dose (sometimes a large one) of denial? So we say “I have writer’s block” or “I need inspiration, mehn” but hardly ever “I need to get over this laziness”. But, I admit to myself and to the world, here and now, that I have been lazy, very much so.

However…

My creator has equiped me well to go forth in his likeness and likewise create, and create I must. The sea of nothingness I will now and again vanquish and fill with something or the other. I will replace that white with colours bold and bright, images striking and captivating, movements swift and sure, patterns simple and complex, shapes crisp and defined, words insightful and inspiring, art pure and true… all of them beautiful. For this is my calling, my purpose, my destiny.

For like my creator, I am creative.

I am an artist.

***

Can you relate?